Australia | 2008 | PG-13 | - 6.7.5
Set in northern Australia before World War II: Nicole Kidman stars as a headstrong aristocrat who travels to Australia to find out what her husband has been doing on his cattle ranch for so many months without her. She learns upon arrival that her husband has been murdered and she must now decide whether to try to save the struggling enterprise or sell to an unscrupulous competitor. At the same time, she becomes the guardian of an Aboriginal boy whom she tries to protect from the state police, which is shipping Aboriginal children to an island for "assimilation." Also with Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson, Barry Otto, Shea Adams, Eddie Baroo and David Gulpilil. Directed by Baz Luhrmann. [2:35]
- A man and a woman kiss, they undress each other, lie back in bed, kiss some more (we see his bare chest and back), he lies on top of her (we see the side of her bare breast, her bare side to the hip and her bare thigh), she wraps her leg around him and the scene ends (it is implied that they have sex).
► A man and a woman lie in bed together (he's bare-chested and she is wearing a nightgown) and she caresses his chest. A man and a woman hug and kiss. A man and a woman dance together and kiss, and they are interrupted by a boy who sees them. A man and a woman hug.
► A woman sits in a bathtub (we see her bare shoulders and the top of her chest). A man stands shirtless and pours a bucket of water over himself. We see a man in native garb, bare-chested, with a flap covering his genital area and his buttocks are exposed.
► A man talks about breeding animals and a woman thinks he is talking about having sex with her. A boy talks about a man and a woman "laying down and tickling," implying having sex.
- A man is struck through the back by a spear (we see the spear poking out of his chest), he falls face first into a river where a young boy is hiding under water and the water is stained with blood.
► A man is shot in the back (he falls to the ground), he moans and writhes and the man who shot him walks close to him and shoots him again (we see the man lying motionless) and many children watch from a distance.
► A man aims a gun at a boy and prepares to fire, we hear a gunshot and see the man slump over (we see that he has been impaled with a metal rod and we see blood on his jacket), stumble and fall over dead. A man is struck on the back of the head with a gun; he falls into water and is attacked by a crocodile (we see the creature moving toward him, and the frightened look on the man's face and we read a newspaper headline about the man's death).
► A woman walks into a house and sees a dead man (her husband) lying on a table with blood on his chest and his eyes open (we see her and a few others gathered and grieving at a grave later).
► A man chases a boy, strikes him in the face twice and pulls him by the hair; the man then pushes the boy's mother to the ground, strikes the boy again and another woman strikes the man in the face with a switch (we see the man with blood on his cheek).
► Two men fight with many punches: they fall onto tables and to the floor, one breaks a bottle over the other's head, they continue punching each other, and pick up suitcases and strike each other with them; the suitcases open and a woman's under clothes are thrown through the air (one man has blood on his nose and mouth). A man punches another man in the face, and steals his gun and a boat.
► A woman and a boy hide in a water tower, the ladder they cling to breaks away, they fall into the water, and they struggle to stay afloat; the woman drowns (we see her floating motionless in the water and she is pulled out of the water lifeless) and the boy grieves.
► Fighter planes dive toward an island where there are many children, the planes open fire, the children run screaming, a bomb is deployed and a radio shelter explodes (a man was inside). Fighter planes fly over a port town, many buildings are bombed, and ships at port are bombed and sank, (we see people being thrown, we see a wounded man with blood on his face and chest and we see the back of a woman's head at a hospital and we see another woman's reaction to seeing her and realizing that she is dead).
► Men spill gasoline and light a flame near a herd of cattle to start a stampede, and the cattle rush frantically, people mount horses and try to stop them, two cows fall over a ledge, a horse breaks its leg (we see the leg snap) and its rider falls off and is trampled (we see him being stomped on and flopping around, and see him later with twisted limbs and very bloody wounds on his head, face and chest and he dies); a boy is trapped on a ledge with the cattle charging toward him and they stop just before he is pushed over.
► A man screams and struggles against other men who try to prevent him from going into a burning building where he thinks a woman is.
► A boy and a man are captured by men and taken away: the boy is sent to an island with other boys and the man is locked in a cell. A man threatens a boy and tells him he will beat his mother if he doesn't state that he was lying about something. A man yells at a woman in several scenes. A woman yells at a man in several scenes.
► A man shoots a boy's dog (we hear the gunshot) and the boy runs screaming. A kangaroo is shot while jumping alongside a truck, a woman watching from inside the truck screams and we see the carcass strapped to the top of the truck with a stream of blood trickling down the windshield. We see several cow carcasses on the ground. A boy rides a horse that is stained with blood after its original rider has been killed.
► We see a town being evacuated after Pearl Harbor is bombed. We hear a voiceover describing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and another attack on Australia. We hear about Aboriginal children being kidnapped and taken to camps where they were forced to assimilate. A man talks about "breeding the black out of them" (referring to Aboriginal people). A man talks about his wife having died from TB because the hospitals would not treat an Aboriginal person. A saloon owner tells an Aboriginal man that he cannot come into his establishment. A boy teases another boy and says "Doesn't your mommy want you?"
► Several people drive a herd of cattle across a desert, and cannot find water; there is a huge sand storm and when they do find water it is tainted. People in a town hear a loud rumbling and come to realize there is a herd of cattle approaching.
► We see many children on an island as armed soldiers approach, and they wade into the water and escape. A boy is afraid in several scenes about being taken away by police and sent to an island with other Aboriginal children. Aboriginal people are shown with decorative scarring on their bodies. A woman sticks out her tongue at a man. We see people branding cattle (we see the people approaching the animals with heated irons).
► We hear that the Australian government's assimilation policy was abandoned in 1973 and a formal apology was issued. A woman is told that she is not permitted into a saloon or the women's lounge that's next door, and an Aboriginal man is told he is not permitted in a saloon.
- 1 F-word, 3 sexual references, 1 scatological term, 7 mild obscenities, 8 derogatory terms for Aboriginal people, 1 derogatory term for the Japanese, name-calling (mix blood, half-caste, creamy, stupid cow, bad spirit, animal, mixed race, bloody fool), 1 religious exclamation.
- Many men drink alcohol in a bar, a man drinks shots of alcohol, a man drinks rum from a bottle in a couple of scenes, a man and a woman drink rum from a bottle, people drink alcohol at a party, several people toast and drink to a man's memory (a woman ends up becoming drunk), people drink alcohol in a saloon, and a man holds a flask in his hand and appears to be drunk.
- Forced assimilation, World War II, murder, war profiteering, greed, Aboriginal people, racism, pride, power, adventure, cultural ceremonies, rights of passage, magic, morality, broken hearts, stories, personal history, home, running away, exploitation, coward, stealing.
- People do many wrong-headed things when trying to make everyone the same. There's no place like home.
Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.
We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.
Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.
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